A micro switch, also called a miniature snap-action switch, operates via a tipping-point mechanism. A tipping-point mechanism is a device used to displace an object from stable equilibrium to a new equilibrium state. This enables the switching to occur dependably at repeatable and specific positions of the actuator.
Micro switches are used in such applications as tamper switches on gate valves and safety switches on elevators. Micro switches serve the purpose of producing a large movement at the point of the electrical contacts based on a small movement occurring at the actuator device. As a result of this design, micro-switches are widely used due to their high durability and comparatively low cost.
Micro switches can be utilized for the purpose of limit switching. Limit switches respond to linear or rotary movement. In limit switching applications, a timer mechanism is formed by combining one or multiple micro switches with a motor driven cam. This snap-switch mechanism is typically used to control electrical machinery or machine tools.